Random observations | VailDaily.com

Random observations

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity contains no words, just five characters. The Pythagorean Theorem has 24 words. The Lord’s Prayer 66 words. Archimedes’ Principle 67 words. The 10 Commandments 179 words. The Gettysburg Address, 286 words. U.S. government regulations on the sale of cabbage 26,911 words. All of the numbers may not be exact, but I hope the significance is clear.”Star Wars” technology has been dismissed as costing too much, a waste of national resources and having a low likelihood of actually defending the nation. Its critics tell us that our opponent would simply overwhelm the system with massive numbers of missiles. That may have been true regarding the former Soviet Union, but what about rogue states such as North Korea or Iran launching a missile? Both of those nations are developing nuclear weapons capability and the means to deliver them.The likelihood of terrorists exploding a 5 or 10 megaton nuclear device is remote. But a missile launched from either North Korea or Iran could deliver a 5 megaton warhead. So just how far-fetched were President Reagan’s ideas about SDS and George Bush’s statements about the need to defend ourselves? Researchers have estimated that a 5 megaton nuclear device exploded over a medium-size American city like Omaha, Neb., would cause enough casualties to overwhelm every medical facility in the United States. There is NEVER enough money for all of the problems facing our nation, but SDS may very well be worth reconsideration.A reader disliked my comments awhile back regarding French President Chirac’s transparent anti-Americanism. Therefore, I would like to clarify my position regarding the fact that if it were not for the sacrifice of thousands of Americans during World War II the French would be speaking German today. So in fairness I must also state that if the French had not come to our aid during the Revolutionary War we would be speaking, well, English!And while we’re on the subject of France, one can only impute the motives of Jacques Chirac for blocking the use of NATO’s newly created strike force in Afghanistan when he said, “La force de grève ne devrait pas être employée pour des manques de troupe.” For the non-Francophiles that means, “The strike force should not be used for troop shortages.” I guess he wants NATO forces protecting the Spanish coast where they’re really needed! He followed that bit of contentiousness by insisting that NATO forces not be allowed to train Iraqi forces in Iraq. To Chirac, it makes more sense to fly Iraqi soldiers to Europe for training. Chirac is doing whatever it takes to undermine stability to the region and in doing so he places the fledgling democracies of Afghanistan and Iraq in jeopardy. He is playing “the Arab card,” plain and simple. Arab communities are burgeoning in France, and he doesn’t want to antagonize the Arab minorities there. His actions reveal that he would rather see the Afghans and the Iraqis struggle when what they need is a modicum of assistance from the West. He sure sets a great example for Western altruism, doesn’t he?The New York Times ran 48 front page stories about Abu Gharaib during the first 60 days after the scandal made the news. During the first 60 days after the “Oil for Food” scandal broke, The New York Times ran just one front page story. Why?Going to war must always be the last available option. But that option must always be available, which is the 21st century version of, “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace … it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” – George Washington, first president of the United States of America. I recently visited a college campus on the West Coast and was struck by the diversity of race, ethnicity, religion and sexual preference. It was enlightening to witness liberalism at its best. However, it was also patently obvious that the ardor for my diversity of opinion regarding politics and world affairs was absent. Diversity was embraced for multi-racial student bodies, reading the Koran and same-sex couples. But not for conservative thought – interesting!If the root causes of terrorism are lack of jobs, little education, poverty and 18th century living conditions, why don’t nations such as Cambodia, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Nepal export hate and terrorism the way the Middle East does? Part of the reason for the spring spike in oil prices was attributed to the “gas-guzzling” Chinese. Over 30,000 new vehicles enter the streets of Beijing every month. So it appears that 1.3 billion of the earth’s inhabitants are discovering the “American dream” of driving to the grocery store.Whoever our next president is, I would like to see him reach out and make a genuine offer to China: “Let’s work together to find an alternative source of energy.” I don’t believe the doom-and-gloom prophets that we’ll soon run out of oil because it seems that technology always finds new oil fields or better ways of extracting oil from the old ones. But the environmental and political problems associated with oil need to be addressed, and it only seems reasonable that the two largest users into the foreseeable future should begin working together to solve the problem. Besides, do we really want to get into a competition with the Chinese over oil resources?Butch Mazzuca of Singletree writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at bmazz68@earthlink.net




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